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SGT Hardware

SGT Software

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Consider purchasing an NGC-MAX Complete Installation and a Serial Cable for a system that will work both as a Software Guided Computer (with a PC) and as a stand-alone NGC-MAX system (without a PC).
Information Index

What is a Software Guided Telescope?

List of Telescopes and Mounts we Outfit with Computers and Encoders

Read This Before Ordering

Customer Comments

Questions (FAQs)

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SGT Hardware

SGT-MAX Complete Installation
Complete Telescope Control from a PC


Purchase from Farpoint

SGT-MAX™ Complete PC-to-telescope system

Includes serial interface box (B-Box), encoder cable, encoders, mounting hardware, PC serial cable, a free B-Box mounting bracket and a free instructional video with a brief demonstration of TheSky software.  Does not include software (see software below).  (Please see Read This Before Ordering.)

* When ordering, please place a note in the shopping cart Comments area identifying the specific telescope equipment you will be installing the SGT-MAX on and provide a complete part number.

The first portion of the part number is
SGT.  The second portion identifies the specific equipment for which the installation was designed.

This information can be found in our Appendix of Part Numbers by Manufacturer and Model.  For example, the part number for an SGT-MAX system for a Vixen Great Polaris Mount would be
SGTGPV.  This Appendix also shows any special requirements including additional information needed and specific equipment requirements.

Also, be sure to
Read This Before Ordering.


Are you in need of (more) serial ports on your computer?  See how you can add more RS-232 serial (DB9 connector) ports.
SGT System for the Meade DS-16 Telescope


SGT-MAX with Two Encoders
Kit Version

Purchase from Farpoint

SGT-MAX with Two Encoders

Kit includes B-Box, encoder cable, two encoders, PC serial cable and a free B-Box mounting bracket and a free instructional video with a brief demonstration of TheSky software.  The kit is designed for those who wish to build their own hardware for mounting the encoders.


Are you in need of (more) serial ports on your computer?  See how you can add more RS-232 serial (DB9 connector) ports.

Serial Encoder Interface Box (B-Box)
Interface Only

Purchase from Farpoint

Serial Encoder Interface Box (B-Box)

Includes serial interface box, PC serial interface cable, a free B-Box mounting bracket and a free instructional video with a brief demonstration of TheSky software.

The B-Box has an on-off switch, an encoder cable jack, a serial cable jack and an LED.


Are you in need of (more) serial ports on your computer?  See how you can add more RS-232 serial (DB9 connector) ports.

The B-Box comes with an encoder cable and a free holder with mounting bracket.

SGT Software

TheSky Desktop Planetarium Software
Windows PC Version

thesky_screen.jpg (59084 bytes)


TheSky™ Desktop Planetarium Software

JMI no longer carries Software Bisque's products.
You can purchase TheSky directly from Software Bisque.

TheSky, created by Software Bisque, accurately depicts the night sky for any date from 4713 B.C. to 10,000 A.D. for any location on earth.  The Professional and Serious Astronomer editions will interface with a telescope using an SGT system (see hardware above) and can slew some Go-To telescopes.


What is a Software Guided Telescope?

Imagine every movement of your telescope being represented against a realistic star field on the screen of your personal computer!  Simply type the name or catalog number of any object you wish to see, and the SGT-MAX not only guides you to it, it even shows your progress against the stars!  The real-time link to your telescope makes finding any of thousands, or even millions of objects, a breeze.  Combining it with a compatible Go-To telescope (such as the Meade LX200) and CCD imaging software will give you a fully automated imaging system.

It should be noted that without a compatible Go-To telescope, the SGT system will guide you in a manner similar to the NGC system in which you must manually move the telescope.

The Software Guided Telescope is a combination of two parts, Hardware and Software.   You will need both parts for a functioning system.  We sell TheSky software but many others will work with our hardware.

See the list of telescopes and mounts we outfit for the SGT system.  For a better understanding of a computerized telescope see our Telescope Computer Tutorial.

Customer Comments

"I am getting a lot more enjoyment out of my telescope since I can locate the various space objects so easily.  Even my wife is becoming more interested in looking through the telescope."  (E. F.)

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q. How is the SGT system different from the NGC computers?
A. Planetarium software, linked to the movement of a telescope, allows you to see where the telescope is pointing by the use of a crosshair on a background of stars and non-stellar objects.   The software can guide you to any object in the database.  In some cases, such as the Meade LX200, it can use the Go-To function of the telescope to automatically move to an object that you specify.  In order to connect with planetarium software you must have a serial interface device, such as JMI's B-Box, in addition to the normal encoders and hardware.  The SGT complete system includes the B-Box serial interface and all necessary hardware, encoders and cables.

The NGC-MAX Computer also includes a built-in serial interface that works just like the B-Box.   Therefore, the NGC-MAX can work as a stand-alone system or in conjunction with a personal computer and software.  One of the advantages of using software is that you can increase the database size from a few thousand to millions of objects.

To convert the NGC-MAX Complete Installation to a Software Guided Telescope (SGT) system, all you need to purchase is a Serial Cable (Part No. CBLBBOX).  This system can then interface to a PC (with the internal B-Box emulator in the NGC-MAX) or work as a stand-alone NGC-MAX guiding computer.
Q. Can I interface the MAX systems with my software?
A. In order to connect with planetarium software you will need a serial interface device (see above).  Some of the software vendors sell their own interface hardware.  Here is a partial list of available software (and hardware) that will interface with JMI encoders:  TheSky (B-Box) by Software Bisque, Voyager II (SkyPilot) by Carina Software, Earth Centered Universe, Deep Space (Deep Space Navigator) by David Chandler, Megastar, Starry Night and Cartes du Ciel.